Skip to main content

What I Read: May 2016

A very ambitious pile

So many 'to-do's' this month, not enough reading time. Sadly, over half of that pile never got digested before having to be returned. But here's what I did read this month:

*The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax-- Just like all his other books, Sax's latest did not disappoint. His main premise for this book is that in the last 30 years, there has been a transfer of authority from parents to peers, and it's ruining our kids and our culture. He makes really great points, uses stories from his practice to illustrate, and science to back up. I'm definitely the choir here, but if parenting, sociology/cultural trends, and brain science appeals to you at all you'd probably find his books really interesting. 

*Le'ts Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson -- This memoir was laugh out loud funny. She is the female David Sedaris, only way more open about her neurosis. Some of these stories I was laughing so hard I was crying at, but they do come at a cost (think, "I'm so glad I'm not that screwed up") and the way she writes does get a bit draining to read after awhile. She's at times a glutton for witty remarks or puns, when 2 would suffice per sentence. I had to have a few weeks break between this one and the one below, even though they were both very funny. My favorite parts were the re-hashing of conversations between her and her husband. 

*When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi -- This was a beautiful book, a memoir about an award-winning neurosurgeon who develops progressive cancer and dies (not a spoiler) in his 30s. It's nearly poetry, but Kalanithi has been delving deep into classics his whole life and so it's no wonder his language is so highbrow. It's a very tragic book, but if you're a deep thinker, philosopher, or just love 'meaning of life' conversations, this is your book. 

*Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson -- This book is a little bit heavier than her other (Let's Pretend), but it's just as funny, if not more so, because there are so many more chapters that involve her husband, Victor. Victor conversations are gold. This book talks a lot about her mental illness and therefore a bit more on the serious side at times, but still just as laugh-out-loud funny.

Read Aloud to the kids:
*The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder -- This book was looooooooong. It has been the most serious book we've read so far in the Ingalls Wilder series and mostly about a very hard time in the family's life. The Ingalls lived in a house in town and for nearly 7 straight months there were blizzards and frigid temperatures. They'd been warned by a Native American that this winter would be bad, and Pa took it seriously. They couldn't get their supplies in before everything iced over, and the story goes into detail about how lean and dangerous the winter was for them. The kids enjoyed it, as they enjoy nearly 100% of my read-aloud picks, but I'm glad to be moving on to Little Town on the Prairie.


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

Subscription Boxes as Homeschool Curriculum

Ani painting her first diarama
The subscription service business sector is exploding the online retail market. You can now buy toys, pet products, clothing, stationary, beauty products, eco-cleaning supplies, and even organic snacks all in monthly packages with excellent branding. While print magazines are slowly fading away, a new type of subscription purchasing is taking place in droves--for those who are too busy or depleted to run one more errand (hand raised here), you can get a fun surprise on your doorstep for a decent price. These are excellent as curriculum because all the work of planning and gathering has been done for you! Now it's just up to the child to execute and enjoy the process. 
I have tried a few subscription services as either birthday gifts or a trial run for homeschooling, and let me tell you there are some awesome businesses going up! I want to highlight a few of them for you that can be used as homeschooling curriculum for elementary grade kids. With each…

What Takes Time

Our 17 footer, hitching a ride
Two weeks ago, we bought a canoe from Craigslist. It's nothing fancy. It's green, with mildew on the bottom from being unused, and it came with a solitary wooden oar. We'd been scouring craigslist with little luck under the $300 limit, and finally came across this one and joy of joys, they took $150 because they were putting everything in the moving truck the day we came. They didn't want it -- cash looks better than a canoe sitting by the curb. 
We'd squirreled away about $15 a month for the past year or so, just to put towards this little goal, and with a few life jackets, and 3 more oars to boot, we were out for our own little family adventure. The first time we took it out, we saw so much wild-life we couldn't believe it: a diving bird returning from his catch down under just a few feet from our boat, a Bald Eagle, and some sort of seal who popped up, stared at us, and promptly went back underwater. I didn't even know seal…